Joseph Smith wanted to know which church to join

During Joseph Smith’s boyhood, many churches were claiming to be true and he did not know which one to join. JS—H 1:5–10

He studied the Bible

Joseph studied the Bible. In James 1:5, he read: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.” JS—H 1:11–12

He prayed to God

Deciding to ask God which church to join, one day he went into the woods near his home to pray. JS—H 1:13–14

Satan tried to stop him

When he knelt there and prayed, Satan tried to stop him. He prayed harder, asking Heavenly Father for help. JS—H 1:15–16

He saw Heavenly Father and Jesus

Joseph saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father pointed to Jesus Christ and said, “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” JS—H 1:17

Jesus said to join no church

Joseph asked which church was right and which he should join. He was told to join none of them, “for they were all wrong.” JS—H 1:18–19

Leaders of other church treated Joseph unkindly

When Joseph told others what he had seen and heard, the leaders of many local churches treated him unkindly and persecuted him. JS—H 1:21–22

Three years later Joseph prayed to know what to do

Three years went by. One night, Joseph prayed to be forgiven of his sins and to know what he should do. JS—H 1:28–29

Moroni appeared and told Joseph about the gold plates

An angel named Moroni appeared and told Joseph about an important book that was written on gold plates. JS—H 1:30–35

Moroni appeared three  more times that night

After Moroni went back up into heaven, Joseph thought about what he had been told. Moroni appeared to Joseph two more times that night. JS—H 1:44–47

Joseph went to where the plates were hidden

The next day, Joseph went to where the plates were hidden. It was near the top of a hill not far from his home. JS—H 1:48–51

He saw the gold plates

Joseph found a big rock there. He pried up the edge of the rock with a lever and saw the gold plates inside a stone box. JS—H 1:52

Joseph couldn’t take the plates at that time

Moroni appeared and told Joseph to not take the plates then but to return at this same time each year. Moroni gave Joseph instructions each time he went there. JS—H 1:53–54

Finally Joseph got the gold plates

When Moroni finally let him take the gold plates, Joseph used the Urim and Thummim to help translate some of them. JS—H 1:59–62

People helped him write what was on the plates

Later, people called scribes helped him. Joseph said in English what was written on the gold plates, and a scribe wrote it down. JS—H 1:67

It was printed in a book

Joseph took the translated words to a printer, who made them into a book. History of the Church, volume 1, page 71

called the Book of Mormon

The book is called the Book of Mormon. It tells about people who lived on the American continent many years ago. It is another testament of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Illustrated by Robert T. Barrett